Thursday, May 10, 2012

Another "Bomb Plot" was Really Entrapment

After scaring us with news of another "plot to bomb an airliner," the feds let the real truth out:
For al-Qaeda’s affiliate in Yemen, the volunteer seemed ideal. He was willing to die in a suicide operation, and he had travel papers that would allow him to board a U.S.-bound flight.

It was a perfect dangle, in the parlance of spycraft, and al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula took the bait. The group’s bombmaker fitted the man with a new version of a nonmetallic “underwear bomb.” What he didn’t know was that the would-be martyr was an agent run by Saudi Arabia. And the man turned the device over to his Saudi handlers inside Yemen.

The Saudis flew the bomb out of the country on a noncommercial jet and handed it over to American officials in an unidentified third country. . . .

The informant was one of several operatives sent into Yemen over the past two years with Western passports and other documents designed to attract the attention of a terrorist group that is determined to attack the United States, U.S. and Western intelligence officials said Wednesday. One official described the effort to disrupt the airline plot as part of a broader use of operatives with “clean skins” who can pass themselves off as militants capable of traveling into Europe or the United States.
Don't get me wrong, I strongly support operations like this one; nothing will disrupt terrorist operations more profoundly than making them mistrust anyone who actually seems useful to them. But there was no bomb plot here until Saudi intelligence launched it, and it is therefore ridiculous to claim that a plot has been thwarted.

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